Rod Stewart Newcastle Arena 27th Sep 2013

Rod Stewart Newcastle Arena 27th Sep 2013
rodtix I nearly didnt go this time. In many ways Rod has become just a little too much Vegas, a little too much cabaret for my liking. But the voice in my head said “Come on. It’s Rod and he has a new album out and he will still sing some of the old songs”……so the day before the gig I bought a cheap 🙂 £60 (ouch! and what is this £7.75 “fee”? :() ticket way up the back of the arena. I arrived just before Rod took to the stage and bought a programme which reminded me why I came. It contains lots of old pictures of Rod; Rod and the Faces; Rod and Long John Baldry; Rod and Ronnie; Rod and Jeff Beck; Rod in the nattiest check suit with cool shades and a crazy mod barnet.
8.15 prompt and the curtain falls. He starts with “This old heart of mine” and lots of great images of Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, and the Isley Brothers behind him. Showing your roots Rod. “You wear it well”‘ a great version; takes me back.
“You can’t beat Friday night” Rod tells us and off we go with Sam Cooke’s “Twisting the night away” and I am back in a field in Reading more than 40 years ago. Very 60s swirling backdrop for that one. “Tonights the night”: not one of my favourites lots of embarrassing singalong. “Sweet little rock n roller”; this is more like it Rod. He has a pretty fine band, with a horn section, girl singers, and a good guitarist. The sound is pretty clear too, and I’m right at the back and can still hear ok. Being a “war baby” Rodd dedicates the next one to our troops; its “Rhythm of my heart” Then he introduces his daughter Ruby to sing one of her own songs “Just One More Day” which was pretty good. Good to see he’s keeping it in the family and supporting his daughter in this way. Rod returns and duets on “Forever Young” with Ruby which leads into them leaving the stage while the band perform a serious drum and percussion solo (oh no!) which actually goes down incredibly well with the crowd. Not to worry they are soon back to finish the song. Rod takes a seat and introduces the “small cocktail orchestra” which includes Julie on a very impressive harp. “First cut is the deepest” in acoustic form with harp and orchestra; just beautiful thats more like it Rod. rodprog “I don’t want to talk about it” which Rod introduces as “We have been singing this song together for 35 years” and sing along indeed the crowd does; cheesy but good and a new treatment with the string section. Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately” is next; a bit smaltzchy; a couple beside me get up and dance cheek to cheek at the back of the hall.Then it’s “new album time”: “Brighton beach”; “Can’t stop me now” with some great old black and white video of Rod from the 60s, and of his Dad. “She makes me happy”: I have heard this one too many times on the radio recently. Then its “a song from way back which mee and Ronnie recorded in one take back in 1971” and we are into Rather Go Blind. Great stuff. Takes me back 40 odd years again. Rod takes a break while the girls sing “Soul Man” ( as Soul Girl) in front of montage images of Sam and Dave.
Rod returns for “You’re in my heart” and then “Maggie May” which always brings back great memories of when I was a kid; it would be so good to see Ronnie back for this once more. Now we are on the home stretch: “Sailing”; “Hot Legs” with lots pf footballs; “Baby Jane” and the curtain comes down. I beat a retreat into the car park and make my exit to the strains of “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” which is the encore (and I assume the closing number).
Overall verdict. Pretty good actually. I’m glad I went. Better than the last couple of times I have seen him. The Mod is still in there somewhere and now and then he comes out and its just like old times. The old rockers are still the best.

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